by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2007
The table shows like-for-like how the gamut volume has been boosted from K3 to K3 UltraChrome to K3 UltraChrome Vivid Magenta.
The 880 series of printers have a larger print head and can bring more nozzles to bear on the process. This raises the printing speed by a factor of 1.6x, a significant improvement. In our tests we printed a full resolution A4 image in 4 minutes exactly and a 20x16 inch print in 9m 30s. The 4800 printed a 20x16 in 16m 20s and so the claimed speed improvement is fully justified. Although a saving of about 7 minutes may not sound a lot, you will welcome it if you are waiting to get an album finished in the dead of night! That 7 minutes multiplied by an album quantity of pages will get you into bed before dawn!
The ink set seems capable of generating a slightly deeper Dmax which we measured at 2.33 on Premium Luster photo paper. We tested the 4880 using both Epson profiles, bespoke profiles and some third-party ones. The out-of-the-box performance was good, without breaking any records but the print quality was beyond reproach for all commercial purposes, other than contract proofing.
In order to explore the limits of the performance of the new ink set we switched to the new Epson Standard Proofing Paper. This has the advantage of being OBA-free, thus removing one source of confusion from the equation. We built and refined profiles using 729-swatch sets and the GretagMacbeth DTP 41 using Monaco Profiler. Overall we found that our profiles were creating prints that were around 4% too dark and we tuned them in two iterations to improve both density and colour saturation.
The results are tabled and, as far as we can recall, are record breakers, we have not created this precision before with any printer/paper combination. This is very gratifying for, although the eye would be pushed to detect these fine differences, it is nice to have the power under the bonnet should it be needed!
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